The Commander’s Intent

By GySgt Timothy D. Graves


You are the commanding officer of Company B, Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 1/2. Your company’s mission is to secure the bridge crossing the Minse River. The enemy is reported to be a reinforced rifle platoon holding the key terrain surrounding the bridge. They are well organized and possess some automatic weapons but have no indirect fire capabilities. A section of 81mm mortars is directly attached to your company and is embarked on your assault amphibious vehicles (AAVs). You have direct support from the Marine expeditionary unit’s artillery battery. Charlie Company is in reserve approximately 15 km south of your position.

According to your concept of operations and the company’s scheme of maneuver, Ist Platoon, with machineguns attached, will envelop the enemy and establish a support-by-fire position in the vicinity of company Objective B. The company’s 60mm and attached 81 mm mortars will provide both suppression and obscuration on the enemy position southeast of the bridge (company Objective C). 3d Platoon will assault this enemy position. 2d Platoon will assault the enemy position north of the bridge (company Objective A). 2d Platoon is the main effort. You intend to utilize both indirect and direct fires to support 2d Platoon’s maneuver to company Objective A.

You have begun your attack, and your fires upon Objective C have been effective. You then receive this report from Ist Platoon: “Contact with enemy. Squad-sized unit has immobilized one of our AAVs. The platoon commander and the first squad leader are seriously wounded. The enemy squad has withdrawn now that we have returned fire.” This report from the Ist Platoon platoon sergeant continues: “We are about 700 meters from our river crossing point and about 4 to 5 clicks from company Objective B.”

3d Platoon has reached Objective C and has begun their consolidation. Your 60s have ceased fire. 81s have shifted to provide obscuration for 2d Platoon, and artillery suppression of company Objective A is about to cease. Your original commander’s intent was “to isolate and destroy the enemy in order to secure the bridge for the BLT’s movement north.”


In a time limit of 3 minutes, issue your orders to your team leaders. Provide a brief rationale for your actions and a sketch of your plan. Submit your solution to Marine Corps Gazette, TDG #01-7, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134, fax 703-630-9147, or e-mail <>.

For more detailed information on the structure of Marine Corps units, Marine Corps equipment, and symbols used in TDG sketches, see MCG, Oct94, pp. 53-56 and the modification reported in jan95, p. 5.